EYES FOCUSED

EYES FOCUSED

KEEP YOUR EYES ON HIM

Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to go wrong, everything you do seems wrong, and it seems like you would have been better off just staying in bed?

Yeah. That was today for me.

It started like any other day… reading a chapter in the Bible and the accompanying devotional and putting on the armor. I was off to a good start!

Then I got out of bed. I had to change plans because one of my kiddos was not feeling well, I was later to work than I wanted to be and I kept getting sidetracked while I was there, there were several challenging “people” encounters during the day, I missed an appointment with a friend because I thought it was on a different day (and I was the one who scheduled it!!), there were electrical issues when I got home (the power in the bedroom kept going out), more challenging “people” encounters (this included me…at this point, I was irritating myself), and on and on……

I realize that the day’s events were not devastating or even very serious, but I was overwhelmed by them. I would love to say that I handled them all with patience and a Christ-like attitude. Sadly, I fell far short today.

By the time evening rolled around, I was a complete bundle of stress and very unpleasant to be around. I felt like I had failed in every possible area. What made me feel even worse was that I had set aside tonight to write this blog post…how could I possibly hear God or be used by Him after a day like today? Bemoaning my woes to my husband, he kindly and wisely suggested we pray.

And that is where this story comes to a screeching halt. It was very clear where it all went wrong.

At no time during the day did I stop, step out of the chaos, and PRAY. Sure, I threw out some quick, “God, please help!” prayers—and He did help in those moments—but I never laid down my worries before the Lord. Instead, I chose to let grievances and frustrations build up to the point that I couldn’t see Him beyond them.

Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22

How differently today would have gone if I kept my eyes on the Lord! I may not have been able to change the actual events of the day, but I certainly could have responded in a way that demonstrated who Jesus is to those around me.

The more I dwelled on what went wrong today, the more distracted I became and the less my mind was on Him and His plans for me. And this is right where the enemy likes us to be…rendered ineffective for the Kingdom. Believe me, he is right there to exploit any opportunity to cause you to stumble.

Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:6-8

When we take our eyes off Him and focus on our circumstances, the obstacles seem insurmountable and frustration and fear can set in. Peter struggled with this very thing when he saw Jesus walking on water:

And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” Matthew 14:28-30

What a perfect example of how easily we can be sidetracked by our “problems”! And how horrible would it be if the Lord just left us to our own destruction! But then comes the beautiful and wonderful part of this story:

And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Matthew 14:31-32

Did you read that? Peter cried for help and Jesus IMMEDIATELY reached out His hand and caught him. It is so amazing that despite our missteps, He is right there ready to help when we look to Him!

But wouldn’t it have been better if Peter had never taken his eyes off of Jesus in the first place? Fear would not have overtaken him, causing him to succumb to his circumstances.

This brings me to my point.

We need to keep our eyes on Him all the time!

It is not enough to just start your day off with the Lord…you need to SPEND YOUR DAY with Him.

Quick, one-line prayers for a moment in need does not replace consciously MAKING TIME for Him.

INCLUDING Him.

DOING LIFE with Him.

Are you intentional in spending time with the Lord? He wants to be part of your life! He DIED so you could be with Him! Don’t let distractions cause you to lose focus and to stumble, but instead look to Him at all times and in all circumstances.

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:1-2

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,.looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of ourfaith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

JEN WISE

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